Snitches, so called because of their habit of fleeing danger to warn their allies, were drummers who served in militaries for the purpose of raising morale. Their penchant for running from battle owed to their lack of weapons or defense, for their role was purely that of a non-combatant. During the 18th century, they were a standard unit in European armies and were employed by both the British and Continental armies of the American Revolutionary War.
Snitches of both armies were mostly identically dressed. Continental variants wore a yellow uniform and hat, as opposed to the blue uniform of their side. The British variant wore a more red color scheme to fit their side. They constantly played a drum while marching with their allies.
Snitches in British and Continental patrols in the American Revolution were usually accompanied by five or more soldiers, but they were occasionally deployed with a single officer. Regardless, when the unit was attacked, they generally ran from the battlefield to call for reinforcements. If they could not run, they usually wielded small weapons as a last resort.